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But just how much to ask for is often key."Match your financing goals to reality," Berry says.
If you're looking for a few hundred thousand dollars, look into angel investors, seed money investors and/or seed money funds.
Understand which investors want high-growth and high-risk strategies, and which will accept lower growth and lower risk."Many of the decisions by investors are based more than financials.
The goal of the business plan is to convince investors that you are worth the risk of investment. Small Business Administration to write its government business plan publication.
"It really has to pop them," says Linda Pinson, author of Automate Your Business Plan for Windows® and Anatomy of a Business Plan, who runs a publishing and software business Out of Your Mind and Into the Marketplace. "It's got to say to that VC 'What's in this for me?
"You're not going to cover those details in many encounters with investors, but you need to know your plan backwards and forwards, inside out before you start, whether you show it to investors in early meetings or not. You are supposed to have them ready to go from the first encounter."Venture capitalists, for example, may have 100 or so business plans piled on their desk at any given time.
They only listen to formal pitches and presentations from a handful.
"A lot is based on the personal confidence they have in you.
It's not just numbers on a piece of paper," Pinson says.
Your business plan needs to include the necessary components -- the business concept, market, management team, financial projections, marketing plan, etc.
You should have a hand in drafting the plan if you are the presenter so that you are intimately familiar with all the details.